Thiruvananthapuram, Oct 14 (IANS) The Congress in Kerala on Saturday alleged a secret pact between the ruling CPI-M and BJP due to which the CBI was yet to file an appeal in the Supreme Court in the SNC Lavalin case, in which Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan was acquitted in August by the state High Court.
In a statement, state Congress president M.M. Hassan said that there was no other reason but to suspect that a secret pact existed to explain why the CBI had not filed an appeal in the apex court against the Kerala High Court verdict that exonerated Vijayan, while it did not exonerate the officials accused in the SNC Lavalin case.
“The High Court verdict came on August 23 and then itself the CBI said it would file an appeal, but till today it has done nothing while an official who was not exonerated by the High Court when it gave a clean chit to Vijayan, has now filed an appeal against it in the Supreme Court,” said Hassan.
On August 23, Justice P. Ubaid in the Kerala High Court said it was not fair that while a few state ministers handled the power portfolio, only Vijayan was being taken to task and remarked that Vijayan was being “hounded” by the CBI.
The case pertains to an agreement with Canadian company SNC-Lavalin in 1997, when Vijayan was the state Power Minister, to repair three generators, which allegedly caused a loss of Rs 266 crore to the exchequer.
Vijayan was arraigned by the CBI as the seventh accused in the case, leading to a political furore.
But on November 5, 2013, the CBI court in the state capital exonerated all the accused, without taking the case for trial and the CBI approached the High Court.
Hassan pointed out that one of the accused in the Lavalin case, an engineer Kasturirangan Iyer, has already filed an appeal in the apex court.
He alleged that the CBI’s not filing an appeal in the apex court was “influenced by the BJP” and was an exchange favour for Vijayan after the state Vigilance Department exonerated a section of the state BJP leadership who were caught in a corruption case.
Iyer, who is the fourth accused in the case, filed a petition seeking discharge in the case stating that the High Court verdict was not fair, and while Vijayan was exonerated he was not.
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